On Wed, 4 May 2005, Kent Tong wrote:

> Date: Wed, 4 May 2005 03:10:33 +0000 (UTC)
> From: Kent Tong <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: gimp-user@lists.xcf.berkeley.edu
> Subject: [Gimp-user] Disadvantage of GIMP when compared to Photoshop
> Hi,
> We're an organization promoting open source in Macau. We're considering
> whether to organize some training courses on GIMP or not. Before that,
> we'd like to evaluate how powerful GIMP is when compared to Photoshop.

> We're not insisting that it must be as powerful as Photoshop. We just
> need a clear idea on its power.

I'll try and keep this factual and give you information to work with.

The scripting infrastructure and availabity of source code is a big factor
in making the GNU Image Manipulation Program powerful.  It is possible to
do batch processing of images but usually people recommend using a tool
like ImageMagick instead.

Adobe Photoshop also has scripting in the form of Actions.  Actions can be
recorded and played back which is quite powerful for users but developers
will probably find that Script-Fu gives them more control as they can
directly edit the files.  (I believe they also have a Python SDK but I'm
having difficulty finding it.)

One of the things I've noticed is that Adobe Photoshop (and the PSD file
format) does not allow Indexed images with multiple layers.  If you save
to any format other than XCF you cannot be sure all features will be

There is no version of Adobe Photoshop for Linux (or any Unix with the
possible exception of Mac OS X depending on how you look at it) and
although Adobe Photoshop version 7 has been made to work with Wine
http://winehq.com there were problems getting more recent versions to

Many users with dual-head setups say they much prefer having seperate
windows and use one screen for the image and put the palettes on a
seperate window.

Some of the people who do not like how the GIMP manages windows make use
of the Deweirdifyer to give them a back window (and others use Xnest, or
multiple workspaces)

If you are using the GIMP on windows (and this only works on the windows
version) you can get PSPI which is a plugin which allows some types of
third party Adobe Photoshop plugins to work with the GIMP.

> As I'm not a graphics guy, I've got a colleague to do some initial
> evaluation. As my colleague has a strong photoshop background but is
> just getting started with GIMP, I'd like to have the confirmation from
> someone like you with strong GIMP experience. So, would you please
> comment on my colleague's finding below? Thanks in advance!

Your colleague might have a more comfortable experience if he used the
Photoshop style keybindings for the GIMP (replace the menurc file with the
psmenurc) but in the long run that might be counterproductive if you
really want to learn how to use the program.

The GimpShop project may also be of interest to your colleague but
hopefully in the long run the best ideas from GimpShop will be
incorporated back in to the GNU Image manipulation program.

> -- Compare to PhotoShop, creating text effect is difficult. Photoshop built in
> text effects. GIMP can only use the filter or script-fu to create effect.
> -- Compare to PhotoShop, text effect will still be apply even the Text is
> changed. But you need to do everything again if you text need to be changed.
> -- Can't display Chinese font in the font selection list.

> - Layers control
> -- Can't display Chinese in the Layer.
> -- Compare to PhotoShop, managing the layers is not that easy. You can define
> layers to groups in Photoshop. You can even target an action to a group. No
> group idea in GIMP.

Some bug reports and requests relevant to Layer management

Add support for Photoshop Styles and adjustment layers

Add a 'lock' flag per layer to protect it

Add support for layer trees or layer groups

There are many suggestions in Bugzilla and if you can get your colleague
to take a look at the list of open requests you should be able to a
reasonably good idea of some of the features users are already asking for
and perhaps recognise some of them from Adobe Photoshop.

The GIMP changes all the time.  You should make sure to get the latest
version (compile from CVS if possible) and install extra functionality
like gimp-python or gimp-perl or the gimp animation package and extra
files like gimp-help gimp-data-extra to make sure you are doing a full and
fair evaluation (it could take a while).


Alan Horkan

Inkscape http://inkscape.org
Open Clip Art http://OpenClipArt.org

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